Fort Worth rental property investors have a big decision on their hands when they’re looking for someone to manage their properties. It doesn’t matter if you have one home or 100 homes; you need someone who is going to effectively care for your property, your tenants, and your bottom line.
Here are some things to consider when you’re choosing a Fort Worth property manager.
Property Management Fort Worth: Experience and Education
Certainly, you want a professional property manager with a lot of experience managing rental properties in the Fort Worth market.
Experience is important, but make sure you look for a specific type of experience. It makes a difference.
Seek a property manager with the right experience. This should be someone who knows how to manage the types of investment property that you own. When your portfolio focuses solely on single family homes, a management company that works primarily with commercial properties or apartment complexes probably won’t be your best choice. Look for expertise that matches your property and your needs.
You also want a manager who has experience solving the sorts of problems you’re most often working through. If you’re having a difficult time placing a tenant who stays for more than a one-year lease, look for a management company that’s great at finding long term residents. When you’re an investor who needs help estimating how much rent you’ll earn on a potential acquisition, talk to a property manager who works with other investors.
A company with 50 years of experience has a lot to offer. But, make sure they have the type of experience that you need.
Education is also critical. In Fort Worth and across the nation, the property management and real estate industries are changing all the time. Your property manager must stay up to date on all the things involved in this business, including:
- Landlord and tenant laws.
- Local, state, and federal fair housing regulations.
- Best practices when it comes to managing rental properties.
- Local market rates, tenant needs, and property trends.
There are several designations and certifications that property managers can achieve. Before you hire a management company, ask how they stay current in their profession. This will tell you how seriously they take their work.
Local Fort Worth Knowledge and Larger Industry Leadership
A management company with local knowledge of the Fort Worth market is indispensable, but you also need a company that’s involved in the property management industry as a whole. Look for property managers who actively network with other professionals. When you have a team of people with the tools and resources to expertly manage your home, you’ll be a lot more successful as an investor.
Find out if your potential property manager is involved in any local, state, or national associations. These will be the professionals with access to a lot of information. It contributes to the better management of your Fort Worth rental property. It can help with attracting tenants, developing relationships with vendors and contractors, and keeping your costs down.
Talk to potential property managers about the trends they see in Fort Worth. This should help you understand what they know about the tenant pool, the investment opportunities that may be available, and current market rental values. You want to have a good discussion about what your property can earn in the current market, and how long it will take to rent your home out to qualified tenants.
Property Management Reputation in Fort Worth and Community Involvement
Don’t be afraid to do a little digging.
A property management company’s online reputation will tell you a lot about who they are and how they manage.
Access a number of review sites to get this information, including Google + and Yelp. Read what the company’s current and former customers have to say about their experiences. You want to see owners who are impressed with tenant screening and tenants who are pleased with how quickly maintenance issues were resolved.
You can also visit a company’s website and social media sites to understand what exactly they do. You’ll find testimonials there, too. Use all of the online resources available to you, and if the company you’re considering doesn’t have a website or much of an online presence – be careful. Technology is a critical part of effectively managing properties today, and if a company isn’t using the internet to advertise, screen, and share information, you might not get the best service.
It’s always good to work with a company that believes in community. Many good property managers see themselves as providing a valuable service to you as an owner and to the greater Fort Worth community as well.
Property management is about providing homes to people who need them. That’s a big responsibility, and you want your manager to take it seriously.
Established and Effective Systems and Processes for Fort Worth Property Managers
Talk to prospective property managers about the systems they have developed to deal with day-to-day operations and unexpected emergencies. A good management company will have consistent procedures in place for things like:
- Marketing and advertising rental homes
- Showing the property to tenants
- Applicant screenings
- Move-in and move-out inspections
- Rent collection, security deposits, and late fees
- Property inspections and evaluations
- Emergency repairs and routine maintenance
Accounting and owner statements
- Managing vendor relationships
- Evictions and legal procedures
Property managers need to be prepared to enforce the lease and respond to emergencies. You need a professional who is prepared and knows exactly what to do. It’s why you hire a property manager – they have the plans in the place so you don’t have to worry.
Peace of mind is important.
Fort Worth Property Management Accounting
You’re trusting a property manager with a valuable investment. You’re also trusting them with your money and your financial information. Even the financial information of your tenant is at stake. It’s essential that they can protect your privacy and your financial security.
A good property manager will provide financial statements every month. These statements should give an accurate and transparent look at what was spent on your property and what was earned. Talk about their process, and whether you’ll have an online portal where you can view statements. It’s also a good idea to find out when and how you are paid.
At tax time, you’ll need a 1099 that covers all of the financial activity associated with your rental property. Your property manager needs to be a financial partner who can make the accounting part of rental property ownership easy and efficient.
Ask if there’s a full time bookkeeper or accounting professional on staff. With smaller companies, a property manager or administrative team member may be responsible for managing your finances. That’s okay if there’s a good system in place. Just make sure you know how your money is being managed, and who is responsible for the oversight.
Fort Worth Property Management Pricing
You’ll want to know how much professional management in Fort Worth is going to cost. It’s a normal question to ask, and you should discuss this when you’re choosing a property manager.
Just remember a few things:
- You get what you pay for.
- The lowest price doesn’t always mean the best service.
- It’s important to compare prices and services when shopping for professional management.
Professional property management is not a product that you buy in a store. It’s a valuable service that helps you earn more on your property. You are searching for value. You don’t always find value in the lowest fees. You find value when you are able to access reliable, professional services for a competitive rate. Be willing to invest in professional management.
Always ask to see a copy of the management contract before you agree to work with a management company. You want to know how much you’ll be paying, whether there are any additional fees on top of what’s been explained to you, and how to get out of the contract if you find yourself unhappy with the management services you’re receiving.
Every property management company has its own business model and way of collecting fees. Some will take a percentage of the monthly rent that they collect, and others will charge you a flat fee. Some companies will have different service levels, and others will charge a separate fee for every single thing that’s done for you. You don’t need to focus on fees when you’re seeking the best management, but you do need to understand what you’re getting in exchange for the money you’re paying.
Personality is also important. Spend some time with your potential property managers and make sure they’re a good fit for you and your way of doing business. You are relying on these professionals to know things you don’t know. You’re counting on them to keep your investments profitable, and perhaps to lead you to new opportunities.